2014 Proposed Constitutional Amendment

Amendment Number and Question

H.J.R. 2

“Shall Article III, of the Constitution of the State of Idaho be amended by the addition of a new section 29, to confirm that the legislature may authorize executive rulemaking; however, the legislature shall not relinquish oversight, which such oversight is done by approval or rejection, in whole or in part, of an executive rule; and to provide that the legislature's approval or rejection of such a rule shall not require the approval of the governor?”

Meaning, Purpose and Result to Be Accomplished

The Legislature’s ability to approve or reject executive rules is an important aspect of the separation of powers, because these rules have the force and effect of law. Existing law allows Idaho state agencies to make rules that implement or interpret statutes passed by the Legislature. The Legislature currently oversees that rulemaking process by accepting or rejecting adopted rules. The proposed amendment confirms and protects the Legislature’s practice to authorize executive branch rulemaking, and to accept or reject adopted rules.

Statements FOR the Proposed Amendment

  1. Legislative review of executive rulemaking is necessary to ensure that Idahoans have a responsible state government. Executive rules are written by executive branch state agencies. These rules describe how laws passed by the Legislature will be interpreted and implemented. These rules impact the lives of Idaho citizens, as state agencies regulate businesses, licenses, benefits, and fees. The Legislature’s oversight of agency rules can limit agency overreaching into the rights and lives of Idahoans and its businesses.
  2. Legislative review of executive rulemaking is necessary to ensure the separation of powers between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of Idaho government. Executive branch agencies write and adopt rules. Legislative review of agency rules ensures agency restraint and adherence to the law. Placing the Legislature’s review authority in the Idaho Constitution protects that authority and the rights of Idaho citizens.

Statements AGAINST the Proposed Amendment

  1. Legislative review of executive rulemaking may infringe on executive branch power by the Legislature. By providing that the Legislature shall not relinquish its executive rulemaking oversight, the proposed amendment potentially could impact the ability of the executive branch to direct and manage the affairs of the state.
  2. The proposed amendment is unnecessary. Legislative review is currently authorized by statute, and affirmed by the Idaho Supreme Court. As a result, legislative authority is adequately protected.